Love, Unrequited

Last night, for the second time since my annulment, I went on a first date.

[this is the outfit I wore]

Leading up to the date, I was less than nervous. Probably because he kept sending me text messages telling me how amazing I was and how much he was looking forward to getting to know me. A normal lady might find this considerate and thoughtful, but it mildly induced my gag reflex.

An hour before the date, however, my suitor redeemed himself by prank calling me. He kept a stoic voice and accused me of already being late before cracking up and saying he’d see me soon. It was admittedly weird, but had me blushing with playful delight.

When the time came, I went to our designated meeting place by the plants in front of Whole Foods and waited for him to arrive. That’s when I spotted him. Not my date – Back Alley Way Lover. Yes, my first first date in Austin had the gall to purchase whatever bananas, eggs, and contraception he needed smack in front of the place I was meeting my new date. Plain rude if you asked me.

Being the dodger that I am, I instantly dropped about 3 feet attempting to duck behind the most robust bunch of thyme. I don’t think it worked, but my date managed to arrive before BAWL finished checking out and we walked away faster than you can say “awkward confrontation.”

[when all else fails, hide behind small foliage]

My first impression of new boy was: I should have worn flats. I know I had a lot to drink when we met, but could my depth perception have been that affected? Or had he possibly been wearing man heels? I mean we are not talking midget stature, but the man could use a lift.

About ten minutes into dinner, I had already decided things weren’t going to work out. He was a really nice guy, but just too outgoing and hyper. Look, buddy – that’s my job. There can only be one spotlight hog in a relationship, and it’s going to be the girl who blogs about her dates for attention.

That’s when he started rummaging in his pocket. “I almost forgot, I have something for you,” he said. “I couldn’t get you flowers because I knew we’d be walking around, but I know you like to cook so I got you these tomato seeds. Maybe you can give me one if you ever get around to planting them.”

[the actual tomato seeds. they can grow like our love.]

Oh Lord, I thought. This letting him down thing is going to be much more difficult than I thought.

I spent the rest of dinner sitting on my hands to prevent him from reaching for one. I don’t think he read the body language correctly. He didn’t want to end the night and I felt like a bitch telling him I was ready to go home, so we went down the street for a drink and some live music.

“I’m really glad I’m on this date with you,” he confessed.

“Thank you.” I replied.

“Aren’t you supposed to be glad, too?” he said with a wounded face, tomato seeds in hand.

Well, fuck. I’ve been caught.

Apparently that didn’t matter because he brushed off my faux pas in stride and went to get us drinks. Meanwhile, I crafted my exit strategy. Potential text messages with a firm, yet gentle let-down swirled through my head. And then a brilliant idea came to me.

I will scare him off, I thought. I will hit him with everything I’ve got, he will no longer be interested, and I don’t even have to send a break up message. How am I so fucking smart?

[muahaha, you’ll never want to date me now]

Suddenly, I was excited for his return. I couldn’t wait to share my secrets and go back to doing more interesting things, like folding laundry. It was every first date’s nightmare: not only would I bring up my ex, I would bring up my ex-husband.

I spilled the beans and waited. And then came the kicker.

Surprise! He was married before, too.

And now we’re bonding.

[they call that a backfire, folks.]

Things just went from “he’s way too into me” to “he thinks the fates have brought us together,” and I am in hell. He was so proud of me for how strong and brave I was for having the guts to tell him. We actually had a really nice conversation about our respective breakups and subsequent depression, but there was just still no spark for me.

When he finally walked me home, he gave me a hug goodnight, marveling at what an amazing time he had. Then he pulled me in for hug round two, because much like me, round one was just so special.

How do I let this sweet boy down gently? He even got a haircut just for the date.

Much like his poor little heart will soon be, I am at a loss.

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29 thoughts on “Love, Unrequited

  1. Oh. My. Gosh. Too funny! Tomato seeds???? Maybe when he asks you out again you can tell him you can’t because you have a date. That way it’s clear you aren’t on a one way train to couple’s gardening classes.

  2. I’m glad he’s a nice guy, but that would be way too much for me on the first date. Good luck letting him down easy!

  3. PostModernSingle says:

    The tomatoes remind me of the love fern in “How to loose a guy in 10 days”.

    It still sucks but it’s so much easier when they’re the one letting you down.

  4. Oh dear. Although the tomato seeds are a novel idea, it is too strong. And I hate to say it, if guys are TOO nice it turns me off. There has to be a little bad boy in there somewhere.

    Oh, and my unofficial, completely unscientific research has proved that straight men who like Tori Amos are not worth dating. Just some unsolicited advice there.

  5. Jared says:

    Whatever happened to just telling someone exactly what you think? I may not have many friends (or dates for that matter), but then again, I’m not bothered by guilt or the tiring process of fabricating excuses. I highly recommend this road. Plus, from a guy’s perspective, a “thanks for thinking of me, but I’m not interested” is more appreciated than a gentle white lie. If a guy has any “manly” character about him, he’ll thank you for it.

  6. Well, call me old fashioned, but I am IMPRESSED with the tomato seeds. What a thoughtful gift! Any idiot can buy wine, flowers, candy…but this guy actually listened to what you like to do and tried to think of a gift that was clever AND useful.

    Sad that you didn’t have a connection with him, but so happy that he turned out to be a very kind person. This is a step in the right direction, now you just need to add nice with a zing.

    I would just be honest with him and tell him that you didn’t feel a connection. He seems like a nice guy, he needs the truth offered to him in a respectful way. 🙂

    • I was actually very impressed with the tomato seeds. It was so thoughtful and sweet. It breaks my heart that I didn’t feel anything, because this guy is such a winner.

      But one day I will find a winner who I have that spark with, too. And that will be worth all of the difficult quasi-breakups in the world 🙂

  7. themoonandme says:

    You could unleash the psycho bitch. Tell him how desperate you are for children. Most men will go running. Although, you know, having been married can come in handy. A guy asked me for my number the other night. I said no. In fairness it was at the bloody train station, of all places! I was chatting to him a few minutes and then he landed that on me. I used the old reliable “I’m sorry but I’m only just separated and really not in a great position right now if you understand me.” The guy took it well, and even wished me a good evening before leaving! Ex’s can be useful. Use that on the guy and he’ll move on thinking he’s helped you by not being a jerk about it.

    • It is a good ace to have in your pocket. I ended up pulling the “I’m not ready” card with this one to let him down easy. He was such a sweetheart and took it really well. Proof that there are nice guys out there!

  8. Grant Rice says:

    RFTL,

    For what it’s worth, I think you’re overestimating your ability to hurt this guy that you have barely spent any time with. Just call him (or even text) and tell him you like him but that you don’t think the two of you are a good match. More often than not, he will be happy that you didn’t waste any more of his time so he can go and find another woman who may even appreciate his coming on so strong.

    Your mileage may vary.

    • Yeah, I think we may just be at very different places. He is obviously looking for a serious relationship, and a girl looking for the same might love all of the sweet gestures he made.

      I told him yesterday that it wasn’t going to work out, and he took it well. I think I was just nervous because I’ve never really told someone “no” after a first date before. Better he know up front, because he’s a very nice guy who deserves to find someone who really likes him back.

  9. zkhei says:

    Omg this guy sounds so sweet. Especially with the thoughtful and original gift of tomato seeds. Id hate to be in your position 😦

    If I were you, I think I’d just keep it simple and tell him exactly how I felt. “Peter I think you’re a totally sweet and genuine guy… but I don’t feel a connection with you. I think you’ll make one lucky lady very happy, but I don’t think that lucky lady is me. We don’t have that spark and I think you deserve a relationship that does. All the best”

    Hahaha oh man …theres no way not to hurt his feelings :S

    • I sent him a text yesterday (cop out, I know). I basically just told him another date wasn’t a good idea, I just wasn’t ready for this kind of thing. He took it in stride and still told me what a dream girl he thought I was. I was not expecting him to be so nice about rejection! What a doll.

  10. brains says:

    it feels to me – and i wasn’t there of course, and i’m not you of course and haven’t lived your life – but it seems you were too hard on him. i don’t mean at the date, i mean afteward. i think it was cute that he played a slight prank on you, but i could understand how you might feel that was too much too soon. it made me think of someone i was with for three years and met on match.com. after e-mail tennis, she sent me her work number to call her and set up a date. so i called, and she pretended there was nobody there by that name. it was funny, and she had a sense of humor.

    he brought seeds. i think that was hopeful. he was thinking (and i’m not thinking that i’m educating you, so sorry if it seems that way) about future. planting something that might grow. it was a nice symbolic thing. maybe i like that because of the poetry i study. and maybe i’m trying too hard to defend the guy because i’ve been in his position.

    regardless, in my limited view, i don’t see why you can’t try another date. his actions show he’s thinking not of himself but of you. there are far worse things that others will do on first dates – as you will likely find out, if you haven’t already. but just because something isn’t really bad does not mean that it’s good.

    • I was never trying to rag on him for the things he did – he did absolutely everything right. That’s why it was so hard to let him down, because he is such a sweetheart and a genuinely nice guy.

      I didn’t feel any kind of romantic connection, and we were on very different pages as far as what we are looking for right now. That’s why I just couldn’t lead him on and give him another date. I know when something is there and when it isn’t. Just wanted to save him the trouble of pursuing me when I wasn’t feeling the same way he was.

  11. […] I ran into poor Mr. Tomato Seeds. It was good to see him because he is such a sweet guy, but it was also a little strange. Primarily […]

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